Down are heading to Dublin after this superb win over South Antrim in the Irish Challenge Cup last weekend.

A golden goal in the second minute of extra time by the mercurial Paul Tate won a classic cup tie which had everything, goals, drama and excitement.

Down have been scoring goals for fun this season and the impressive Tate, who finished with a hat-trick, was untouchable in miserable conditions which made life particularly uncomfortable for both sides.

Gavin Ringland and James Erskine were terrific at the heart of the Down defence while Robert Hagan produced a number of great saves. While Tate claims the headlines with the winning goal, the performance of Down's 'keeper went a long way towards securing a place in the second round. He made a number of great saves, none more so than a double block with the score locked at 3-3 in the closing stages.

Chris Taylor set the tempo of the cup tie in the first minute when his mazy run was thwarted by Stewart Bittle on the edge of the South Antrim penalty area. Alasdair Duff's run was then blocked before Stephen Ferguson won his side a short corner in the second minute.

The ball was pushed out to Ringland who stopped it for Sinclair White and with South Antrim expecting him to shoot, he slipped it to Tate who flicked it high into the net for a terrific opener.

Hagan produced the first in a series of great saves in the third minute denying Chris Henry before Erskine stopped the same player with a smart tackle moments later. The visitors drew level in the sixth minute when Henry deflected Bittle's short corner strike past Hagan.

It was end-to-end stuff at this stage with both 'keepers called into action. Taylor was denied by Paul Montgomery while Hagan denied Henry before the visitors took the lead for the first time in the tie in the 17th minute when Bittle scored with a great short corner strike which Hagan almost got his stick to.

Ringland produced a great tackle to deny Bittle a scoring opportunity two minutes later before the Down defender saw his own short corner strike kicked clear by Montgomery in the 20th minute.

Hagan produced a great double save in the 21st minute before Tate was denied at the other end in driving wet conditions. Down were pushing the visitors hard and eight minutes before the break the locals were back on level terms.

Chris Lennon drove a ferocious shot towards goal which was blocked by Montgomery, but with the South Antrim defenders guilty of ball watching, Duff nipped in to tuck the ball home.

Tate was then unceremoniously taken out of the game in the 32nd minute on the edge of the penalty area and while the umpire awarded a short corner, he didn't penalise the South Antrim defender with a card.

With just two minutes of the half remaining, Down took the lead again when White produced a terrific shot from a short corner to crash the ball past Montgomery to make it 3-2. Lennon was then about to pull the trigger in the final minute of the half but was well tackled by Adam Glass.

Adam McKee's penetrating run at the start of the second half was matched by a great shot which was saved by Montgomery before Chris Ferguson was forced to concede a short corner at the other end.

Craig Campbell made it 3-3 in the 40th minute following a long corner conceded by an under pressure Ringland. Taylor's runs were causing problems and he was almost picked out with a great pass by Jeremy McCready in the 50th minute.

Chris Henry made it 4-3 in favour of the visitors a minute later and could have put his side 5-3 ahead had it not been for a great save by Hagan. Down thought they should have been awarded a penalty stroke in the 58th minute when a goal-bound shot struck a defender in the middle of the goal with Montgomery out of position. The umpire awarded a short corner instead and Tate scored his second goal of the afternoon after the ball was switched by White to make it 4-4. Game on.

Hagan then denied Henry twice in quick succession, one of which was a great save before White struck the post with a short corner drive in the final minute of normal time.

South Antrim thought they were in the second round after the first minute of extra time but their "goal" from a short corner was ruled out by the umpire. A minute later it was the Down players who were celebrating when Tate scored his third goal of the game from a short corner to leave the score at the end of a pulsating tie, 5-4 in the home side's favour.